Sudbury

Sudbury Wolves tryouts begin as team readies for new season

The Sudbury Wolves are holding tryouts this week, a month before they play their home opener against the North Bay Battalion.

Owner Dario Zulich thinks the team has the talent they need to go deep into the playoffs this year

Sudbury Wolves head coach Cory Stillman said that every player needs to try out, no one is guaranteed a spot. (Matthew Pierce/CBC)

The Sudbury Wolves are holding tryouts this week, a month before they play their home opener against the North Bay Battalion.

Of the 49 young men at training camp, only half have a chance at cracking the team's final roster. 

That includes hopefuls like 16-year-old Samuel Vachon of Cochrane, Ont. It's his first time trying out for a team in the Ontario Hockey League.

"It's been my dream since I was a kid," Vachon said.

Vachon will be playing alongside Quinton Byfield, a 6-foot-4 inch tall 17-year-old from Newmarket, Ont. Byfield is a top prospect for the NHL draft next year. 

Wolves head coach Cory Stillman is excited by the new prospects trying out for the team. 

"I don't care where you're from, or where you're at. You always have a chance to play for this hockey club," he said. 

They'll hit the ice four times over the next 48 hours, and Stillman said he'll be watching to see who has the endurance to play strong through all the sessions.

"You can see what kids did over the summer," he said of their workout regimens, "we'll see how much grit and determination you have." 

Players aged 16 to 21 are eligible to play in the OHL. (Matthew Pierce/CBC)

An entertainment company

Dario Zulich, the owner of the Sudbury Wolves, said at a media event that he wants to win all 34 home games this year.

"It's a tall order, but you have to believe," he said, "I'm a dreamer, and you've got to start the season believing you're going to win."

It's not all about winning though, according to Zulich. 

"You need to deliver a good fan experience," he said, "you can't get what you feel here in the Sudbury arena by watching the game on TV."

One-off events like a bobblehead giveaway night are scheduled, along with weekly food deals and musical acts. 

Zulich said that he wants to make it a full sensory experience. That fans should feel, taste, smell and hear something special at the games.

The Wolves will play some exhibition games before their regular season starts with a home game on September 27. 

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